Need advice on how to stop snoring? Snoring is a common problem that affects millions of people (and their partners), but, fortunately, it's typically not serious and easy to manage. For some people, snoring is partly hereditary, but most will find that they snore less after making a few simple tweaks to their lifestyle. Consider making the following changes in order to reduce or even completely eliminate your snoring.
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1. Watch your weight
Check in with yourself, and your doctor can help also, to know if you're overweight. If you are carrying a few extra pounds, you will have extra tissue in your throat that contributes to snoring more. Many people find that losing a bit of excess weight is all that it takes to stop snoring.
2. Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake and don't smoke
Drinking alcohol before bedtime relaxes your throat muscles, making your more likely to snore. Caffeine and smoking exacerbate snoring in a different way – by irritating and inflaming your throat. Avoid both completely – or, in the case of coffee, avoid drinking it in the second half of the day.
Find out how to give up alcohol in our guide.
3. Avoid dairy before bedtime
Enjoy a glass of milk before bed? If you snore, the two may be interrelated. Like caffeine, dairy irritates the throat lining, making you more likely to snore. The same, oddly, seems to apply to soy milk despite it being dairy free. It's a good idea to swap these drink for a herbal tea to see if there's an improvement.
4. Try to get more sleep
When you are overtired, you tend to breathe harder once you do doze off; your throat muscles relax more and you're more likely to end up sleeping with your mouth open and then snore. If you find yourself regularly tired and then 'catching up' on sleep during the weekend, it's time to reassess your sleep routine.
Find our how to sleep well in our guide.
5. Become a side sleeper
It's also advisable to sleep on your side rather than on your back if you tend to snore. You could also let your partner know they can gently roll you on your side if you do begin snoring in the night.
6. Practise throat exercises
As we grow older, our throat muscles weaken, which can cause snoring where there previously wasn't any. Consider doing these three simple exercises recommended by the Sleep Foundation every night before bed.
7. See a specialist
If nothing has helped, or if you find yourself gasping for breath or that you stop breathing during sleep, your problem could be more serious and will need medical help to treat the underlying reason for your snoring. Underlying health conditions can range from sleep apnoea to heart problems and a deviated septum. Get a referral from your GP to get the most accurate diagnosis and treatment.